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Chris G.





Joined: 05 Nov 2005

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 7:20 pm    Post subject: James the Just         Reply with quote

Anyone have any opinions on the work from this site? jamesthejust.com I like the look of some of them. I had had my heart set on a darkwood rapier, but my stage combat class only uses double wide epees. Thanks
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Andres S.




Location: N. CA
Joined: 15 Sep 2005

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So see if you can send a double-wide epee blade to Darkwood and have him mount it with one of his hilts with an extra-light pommel or something. Later you can switch blades.
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Mat Billings




Location: Kelowna, BC
Joined: 05 Jan 2005

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James does good work; while a lot of it comes with a flat annealed finish, it wouldn't take much polishing to bring them up to a shine. one of my buddies uses one of James' daggers, and the thing handles pretty good, though if you've got the money for a darkwood, go that route. Big Grin
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 7:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott at Darkwood works with whatever blades you want. If you shoot him an e-mail, it's possible he can get the double wide epee blades without you even having to go through the trouble of sending him one.
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Chris G.





Joined: 05 Nov 2005

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 03 Dec, 2005 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions. I wrote to Scott, and he said I that he could either send the hilt and let me install a musketeer blade, or he could order it and do it. How difficult would it be for me to mount a blade? Is there a standard with tang sizes and the screw the pommel goes on, or would I need machine skilss, which I so don't have?
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec, 2005 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Machine tools? Nope. At most you'd need a flat or square needle file, and maybe a hacksaw it the tang is too long.

Almost all tangs have a 6 mm metric thread. Get a pommel with a matching thread, and you're set.

Sometimes, you may need to widen the opening in the hilt for the tang on the blade. I prefer to widen the slot rather than narrow the tang. On the other hand, you could tell Scott that eventually you'll want to put a schlager or del Tin blade in it, and it will be wide enough for any epee. On the other hand, it may be too wide.

It really comes down to this: would you get more satisfaction from having a craftsman do it all, or from doing some of the work yourself? I enjoy futzing with my fencing swords - swapping pommels to fine tune the balance, making wire wrapped grips, etc. Others don't.

Jim
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Rick Roberson





Joined: 18 Nov 2005

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim Mearkle wrote:
Machine tools? Nope. At most you'd need a flat or square needle file, and maybe a hacksaw it the tang is too long.

Almost all tangs have a 6 mm metric thread. Get a pommel with a matching thread, and you're set.

Sometimes, you may need to widen the opening in the hilt for the tang on the blade. I prefer to widen the slot rather than narrow the tang. On the other hand, you could tell Scott that eventually you'll want to put a schlager or del Tin blade in it, and it will be wide enough for any epee. On the other hand, it may be too wide.


Just wanted to throw my thoughts on this. You are going to break blades. What happens if the blade you buy now has a large tang. If you open the hole in the hilt up, and all of your replacement blades have smaller tangs, you will be fighting an oversize hole forever. If you file the tang, your hilt will work for any blade. You are not filing very much, so I can't imagine it would weaken the sword to any noticeable degree.

Just my 2 cents,
Rick
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Chris G.





Joined: 05 Nov 2005

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ordered one from Scott today, and he said he put it together for me with the musketeer blade---I'm not very handy. I was going to get one similar to the one, the Teardrop Pappenheimer, that you reviewed Bill, but I when I got a look at the new closed port swept hilts he's making I had to try that. He's making some now with the rings having the swelled ribbon look that I love so much. Thanks for all the help.
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rick Roberson wrote:


Just wanted to throw my thoughts on this. You are going to break blades. What happens if the blade you buy now has a large tang. If you open the hole in the hilt up, and all of your replacement blades have smaller tangs, you will be fighting an oversize hole forever. If you file the tang, your hilt will work for any blade. You are not filing very much, so I can't imagine it would weaken the sword to any noticeable degree.

Just my 2 cents,
Rick


If you've filed out a guard to fit a schlager, then go back to an epee, yeah, but I've rarely had problems with blades moving inside a hilt.

If you break blades, analyze your form. I don't think I've broken a blade since 1990. Retired some due to metal fatigue, yes, but not broken any.

My $0.02.

Jim
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Rick Roberson





Joined: 18 Nov 2005

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 08 Dec, 2005 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm no expert on swords. Also, since it's my son that's using them, I don't have to worry about my form. I have none. Laughing Out Loud
The reason I said what I did was based on sound engineering practice. Basically, you always want to modify the most expendible part. With an engine, you modify bearings and bushings, not the crank or block. Now the blade will always be the most likely piece on a sword to break or kink. The cost is so little, they are not worth repairing. So they are basically a throw away item. Everything I've read says that standard epee practice blades will wear out in a fairly short period of time, no more than a couple of years. I have bought 5 standard practice epee blades in the last 2 months (I know a very small sample size) 3 from the same company and same brand, and every one was slightly differant at the square of the tang. This just convinced me that the square should be filed to fit the hilt, not the other way around.

I do not know your experience level. I know mine, which is very little when it comes to swords. I by no means intend to insult you. By your post you've been doing this alot longer than I. But from a standard machine design theory, which I do have experience in, I'm suggesting you may want to rethink your theory. Why would it be better to open up the hilt rather than file the tang slightly? Do you think that filing a 1000th off the tang would make it considerably weaker?

Now you've got my curiosity peaked. Teach me.

Later,
Rick
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2005 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since it sounds like you have some engineering experience, I'll put it this way: I've seen many people file a stress concentration into their tang, then wonder a few months later why it broke. On the other hand, filing a little off the tang probably won't affect durability, as long as you leave the radiused shoulder that most quality epees come with.

But honestly, most fencing blades fail between the middle of the blade and a point maybe 4" from the tip. So, as long as it's done with a bit of care, alterations to the tang won't affect the life of the blade . I just found it easier to file the hilt once, than the blades repeatedly. Using your analogy, if your engine had a non-standard spark plug thread, how many tuneups would it take before you started thinking about retapping the cylinder head?

Jim
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Chris G.





Joined: 05 Nov 2005

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2005 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A scary thought occurs to me. Scott won't have to file the quillon block to install an epee blade will he? He didn't mention this on the phone the other day, but he did say something about an "insert" for the epee and that I'd have to get a new grip to switch to a Darkwood blade at a later time. Is an epee tang larger than the bigger blades? I really don't want to mess with the beauty of his guard design or the size of the block or where the guard fits to the blade. Thanks.
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris G. wrote:
A scary thought occurs to me. Scott won't have to file the quillon block to install an epee blade will he? He didn't mention this on the phone the other day, but he did say something about an "insert" for the epee and that I'd have to get a new grip to switch to a Darkwood blade at a later time. Is an epee tang larger than the bigger blades? I really don't want to mess with the beauty of his guard design or the size of the block or where the guard fits to the blade. Thanks.


Epee tangs are about 1/4 inch square below the shoulder radius. Schlagers are closer to 1/4 x 3/8. Del Tins, IIRC, are about 1/4 x 7/16 in. I haven't seen any of the Darkwood brand blades, but I'd assume they are also wider at the tang than an epee. It sounds like he's come up with some sort of shim so you can adapt it to a heavier blade in the future. Clever!

You can either wait and see, or ask him. Let us know - now my interest is piqued!

Jim
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott makes a fake ricasso that is removable so that epee blades will fit his hilt. This ricasso allows the epee blade's shoulders to rest where outmost rings are, rather than resting right at the shoulder of the quillons. Not only does this allow the epee blade to fit better with his guards, but also prevents you from losing two inches or so of blade length due to the space between the quillon block and the outmost bars.
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Chris G.





Joined: 05 Nov 2005

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Bill and Jim. That's good to know. If the epee tang is smaller, I still don't know why I'd need to replace the grip later. Looks like it could be carefully modified later(by someone other than me of course). I ordered a right handed version of the last hilt on the swept hilt page at his site. It really appeals to me asthetically so I don't want to gimp it in any way. [/i]
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